There are good dramas, and bad dramas, and then there is Raqs e Bismil. Written by Hashim Nadeem, directed by Wajahat Rauf and produced by Shazia Wajahat, this serial kept the audience busy for the first half of 2021, with its compelling performances, well-planned twists and turns, and above all, spreading love, the way it should be spread. It not only ends up as another feather in the cap of the highly impressive Imran Ashraf and Sarah Khan, but also makes you want to be a better man (or a woman!).
The Story – Moosa is made for Zohra, Zohra is made for Moosa!
In the world of Khalil ur Rehman Qamar, be a Hashim Nadeem! That’s the best way to describe how things went in the final episode of Raqs e Bismil, where there was thrill, suspense, and above all, a reunion everyone was wishing for. Nothing against Ahmed Mian (Umer Aalam), but he was never worthy of Zohra (Sarah Khan), who proved her loyalty to the very Pir Qudratullah Shah (Mahmood Aslam) who banished his son Moosa (Imran Ashraf) from his house, because he dared to love. With Ahmed all set to marry Zohra, Moosa entered the picture and told the groom that he should take care of his to-be wife, because he loves her. Great idea (duh!) for Ahmed instantly realized the mistake he was about to make and convinced Pir Sahab that the son he wants is Moosa, not Ahmed. Zohra becomes Moosa’s, and Moosa becomes Zohra’s, and everything ends happily!
The Good – Great performances end up with a great project!
Raqs e Bismil wasn’t just a drama serial that started and ended appropriately; it was an experience that showed the audience how one can misjudge a person and that one act can ruin the lives of many. Had Pir Qudrat Ullah not banished his son for falling in love, had Sakina (Anoushay Abbasi) realized early that Kamran (Taha Humayun) wasn’t right for her, had Moosa’s mother (Nida Mumtaz) not asked Zohra (Sarah Khan) to leave her son alone, things might have headed in the right direction, but they didn’t.
Even then, everything in the final episode was well executed and fell in place. From the scene where Moosa enters his house to abduct Zohra, and she refuses to go with her despite wanting to, to the one where Pir Qudrat Ullah realizes his mistake and forgives his son were the highlights of the emotionally charged episode. Imran Ashraf and Sarah Khan were just brilliant as two long-lost lovers who were about to be separated again and gave a ‘lovely’ performance after they were united, as husband and wife. The anger in Moosa’s eyes was matched by Zohra’s decision to honor her host, even though she knew that Moosa was right.
Then there was Nida Mumtaz’s fiery scene where she stood up against her husband albeit momentarily. That scene could have been a little longer but since it was enough to rattle the father inside Pir Sahab, it served its purpose. Although Momin Saqib and Anoushay Abbasi didn’t have much to do in the final episode, they supported those who had, and came out as winners. The same goes for Rashid Farooqi and Saleem Meraj who supported Moosa in his hour of need, and although they were shown the door when they went to Pir Sahab, they returned as victors after Moosa’s marriage.
Finally, something on the legendary Mahmood Aslam who has been entertaining us since the 1980s. He is not just an underrated actor but also someone who has played a variety of roles throughout his career. Yes, we love him as Mahmood Sahab of Bulbulay but he is beyond that when it comes to diversity. To play the character of a Pir who banished his son on a misunderstanding, and then reconciling with that son in the final episode was something only he could have pulled off. In that one perfectly placed flashback sequence, he changes from a principled Pir to a helpless father who couldn’t resist admitting his mistake and embracing his wronged son. The moment he said Moosa’s name instead of Ahmed while taking Zohra’s consent, all those felt vindicated, who were supporting Moosa all along in his quest for love!
The Bad – Despite the ‘perfect’ end, a few loose ends remained!
First of all, the eavesdropping culture in our dramas has to go; it reminds one of the Star Plus dramas of the past where eavesdropping was a must. Why was Pir Qudrat Ullah going to meet Zari/Zohra isn’t the issue here, why he reached the room at the most convenient time, with the dialogue beginning at his convenience so he can listen to it and realize his mistake, is. Also, a little more conflict would have helped, because Ahmed Mian going down quietly, Malik Sheheryar (Furqan Qureshi) taking the easiest route, Laila (Zara Sheikh) not ending happily, and Shahbaz Gill (Sajid Shah) remaining scot-free does raise questions. And finally, Moosa shouldn’t have danced, even it was his own wedding and after he finally got to marry the woman of his dreams. It felt out of character for him and looked awkward, perhaps the most awkward moment of the entire finale.
The Verdict – No matter how difficult it may seem, love always wins!
‘Love conquers all’ should have been the tagline of Hashim Nadeem’s Raqs e Bismil. It might not have had the ‘masala’ that gets you more ratings but at least its heart was in the right place. That’s why when everything fell into place in the climax, nobody seemed to mind. Not even the horrific off-screen death of Furqan Qureshi’s character or the fate of Umer Aalam’s Ahmed Mian, who went into the Pir Sahab's house as a groom-to-be but came out as a baraati. Kudos to Wajahat Rauf and Shazia Wajahat for a job well done, picking out actors as per the characters, and giving them the margin to develop their characters and perform. Not one actor was out of place, and neither was the drama’s heart and that’s why when things ended happily ever after, it left a smile on the viewers’ faces.